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Another PUC de-regulation fail—why landline phone rates have soared

Friday, January 18, 2013

Back in 2010 the California Public Utilities Commission voted unanimously to let AT&T and other companies providing local phone service raise prices at will. Commissioner Rachelle Chong, a Republican, and the driving force behind the move (pictured), argued that competition from Internet phone providers would keep prices low. Wrong. Here’s a sampler from the Chronicle’s James Temple, with an update on what’s happened since:
Since fall 2006, AT&T's price for flat-rate landline phone service has leaped 115 percent, from $10.69 per month to $23, according to information from the commission. The monthly price for measured service, which charges a fixed rate for a limited number of calls, has soared 222 percent - from $5.70 to $18.35.

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